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Album review: Ludacris' 'Battle of the Sexes'

Ludacris_battle_sexes_240_ Is there any rapper who needs the genre's recent, rampant vocal-manipulation trend less than Ludacris? Chris Bridges has long been drunk on his own gleefully elastic patois, one of rap's most distinctive and ever-pleasurable voices.

On "Battle of the Sexes," his latest, he directs these pleasures toward the Ladies through fizzy pillow talk and respectfully tawdry club fodder. Luda's always been a lover, not a fighter, and a dip in this particular lyrical Jacuzzi is a good fit.

The spooky "My Chick Bad" might be the first rap song with kind words for Tiger Woods' club-wielding wife Elin Nordegren, with a cameo from the ever-delightful Nicki Minaj. "Hey Ho" is a go-girl ode to cheating girlfriends (well, presumably other people's cheating girlfriends) getting their needs met elsewhere, and "Sex Room" and "Feelin' So Sexy" are fantasias of loverman absurdity.

Some of the production work feels slapdash, as in the sopping-synth "I Know You Got a Man," and aside from the undeniable banger "How Low," it's hard to hear the next obvious hit on "Battle." But the album is another welcome occasion to listen to Luda enjoying the real love of his life -- the sound of his own voice.

-- August Brown

Ludacris
"Battle of the Sexes"
Def Jam/Disturbing Tha Peace
Two and a half stars (Out of four)

 
Comments () | Archives (3)

First of all, Luda is a poet; a clever and sophisticated dirty south artist. I don't expect a corny pop critic to appreciate anything that doesn't sound like it came out of a bubble gum machine. Besides, how is a corny white guy from the L.A. times qualified to comment on today's African American relationships? This album represents and touches on issues in our culture between the sexes. No, Luda's not leaving his non-African American fans out, but he's allowing even you, my bushy, corny 'Burt Reynolds' throw-back, a glimpse into what you will never experience: the drama within our culture. So sit back, relax, close your corn hole and learn something.

Everything Luda touches turns to platinum, and this record will do just that. Luda is not only a talented rapper, but very intelligent in the fact that he played all the right cards for Battle of the Sexes, except that high pitch munchkin voice in How Low; I thought that was uncalled for. Anyway, the RnB community hasn't heard from Dru Hill in forever, but Luda does a colabo with them on the bonus track Rollercoster, which doesn't flinch, and if you're not careful, you might even make a baby listening to this one so watch out.

My favorite: Nicki Minaj. Remember that name. I need your job 'cause baby you don't know trends. Smart move Luda. Nicki is on everything hot right now. She is the female version of Lil Wayne right now, and Luda got her before she's overexposed.

Luda also pairs up with Monica, another beloved RnB artist we've missed through the years in Can't Live With You (Can't Live Without You). This one might be his next hit because its such a pure blend of thug luv in hip hop right now, reminiscent of Mary J Blige and Method Man...again, brilliant.

Lil Kim represents her best here for Luda on Hey Ho. The beat is bangin' and this might be a good opportunity for Kim to get back in the game as long as she can keep it fresh like this hit.

There's so much more I like about the record, but my fingers are getting tired of typing. Just know this: don't be afraid to go into the unknown and when you do, appreciate it for what it is, something you're not used to and for goodness sake, don't comment on things you have no experience in. One more thing. Get the clean version, I did, my opinion is that you'll be better able to hear the art in the work and see that all the music comes together to paint a masterpiece. The curse words are a distraction.

I apologize. Reading over my post, I felt I was a little harsh. Sorry that I came off that way.

@Blackgirlon

in my opinion, the censors are the distractions lol


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